Few people I know love a good cup of coffee more than I do, so the latest innovation at The Bean Bar Co., located just off the Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. exit of I-75 (in the plaza next to Stonewood Grill & Tavern in Tampa Palms), is definitely right up my alley.
Owner Danielle Henry says that The Bean Bear’s new “coffee flights” definitely borrowed the flight concept from alcoholic beverages, from beer to bourbon and from tequila to wine.
The flights offer customers four 5.5-oz. samples, one each of The Bean Bar’s four customer-favorite “classic” coffee drinks — café mocha, Irish nutcase, café con leche and caramel macchiato. And, Danielle says that since being introduced in January, the flights have really (pun intended) taken off.
“It’s always fun to introduce something new and see how people react to it,” Danielle says. “We’ve sold a lot of coffee flights in just a few weeks.”
In fact, leading up to Valentine’s Day, The Bean Bar offered a flight of four V-Day favorites — raspberry white chocolate, cherry almond, chocolate-covered strawberry and red velvet lattés. “We probably will experiment with other flights,” she says. “Stay tuned.”
For me, it’s difficult to stay away from the Bean Bar, whether anything new is introduced or not. I have continually switched off between the very-authentic-tasting café con leche, made with real Cuban sugar, and the better-than-Starbucks caramel macchiato since the place first opened a little more than a year ago (in Nov. of 2021). But now, I may just have to put the café mocha and some of the other flavors (e.g., toasted marshmallow and peanut butter cup) in my rotation. There also are a number of flavor shots available.
Whatever flavor you choose — even if you just like regular hot or iced — the coffee is always outstanding. Danielle says that all of the coffee is from Naviera Coffee Mills, “an amazing Cuban roast. And, even though people have tried to get us to switch, I don’t believe I ever will.”
Danielle and her brother Kyle Trina each also operate a Bean Bar Co. food truck (and Danielle says both are new versions of their original food truck, and make regular appearances in Wesley Chapel), and she recently finished a 12-day run at the Florida State Fair. “We have the space (at the fair) right next to Peachey’s (Baking Co. of Sarasota), which sells amazing Amish donuts. It’s a perfect spot for us.”
But, as someone who can take or leave the fair, I’m just happy that The Bean Bar Co. has a brick-&-mortar location so close to where I live. In addition to the variety of hot and iced coffee drinks (including a nitro cold brew), there’s also a large menu of hot and iced tea favorites, from Earl Grey and Florida orange blossom to chai tea lattés.
But, What About Breakfast?
I’m glad you asked. I am huge fan of The Bean Bar’s breakfast sandwiches — including the croissant egg sandwiches with garlic aioli, to which you can add turkey bacon or real bacon (for just $1 more), and my favorite waffle chicken sandwich with bacon & egg, served with breakfast syrup. So good.
But, even though Danielle says it’s been on the menu for a long time, I only recently sampled The Bean Bar’s light-&-fluffy quiche Lorraine. It isn’t made on the premises, but it’s honestly better than the quiche at most places that do house-bake their own. There also are garlic-&-cheddar and everything-&-gouda bagels and Danielle says mini-sized Dutch-style pancakes (with strawberry jelly, Nutella and other toppings) are being added this month.
And, while I don’t eat avocado toast, photographer Charmaine George says The Bean Bar’s spicy version of it, served on multi-grain bread, is worth a try, too. The sandwiches also are available for lunch, as are tasty beef and chicken empanadas.
Danielle also has brought in new baked goods. The current options include (all shown on the plate below) apple Danish, apple maple and creme brulée muffin tops (think “Seinfeld”), chocolate pastry twists and lemon raspberry and pink & red marble mini loafs. Other tasty treats float in and out (including cream-filled whoopie pies and strawberry-iced scones) — so stop in to check out the latest.
Danielle and her husband Mark recently welcomed their third child — son Hudson (the others are 5-year-old son Peyton and 2-1/2-year old daughter Layne).
The Bean Bar Co. is located at 17018 Palm Pointe Dr. and is open Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-5 p.m., & 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sat. & Sun. For more info, call (813) 442-7699, visit BeanBarCo.com or on Instagram (#beanbar_co) or Facebook (“The Bean Bar Co.”). Also, see the ad on pg. 37 to save 15% off your entire order.